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Moving Forward After Incest

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She did a great job on this video

My past

I survived 10 years of incest and abuse. I hear people say they have moved on, but I wonder what that opinion of moving on is. I can’t say I fully have or ever fully will. Even though I am living a pretty good life, I still have moments where as I fall asleep at night I think of my father getting into my bed as a child. I worry about men I see at the park while my children are playing. After years of therapy I have accepted what happened to me. I learned that harping on it would not make me a better person. That thinking about it constantly would not help me move on.

I have not seen either of my parents since July 15, 1998. That day is a day I will never forget.

I hope that what I have been through can be helpful to someone, even if it is just one person.
I have gone through a lot since that day in 1998. Those moments have led me to a pretty good part of my life. So I hope if you have found this page because you are a survivor, that you will know it IS possible to make it through the storm.


Moving Forward After Incest

The one thing I think is most important for all survivors to remember is that no matter what, it was not your fault. Typically incest is brainwashed into children. The victim is either taught that what is happening is right or scared into not telling. No matter which case yours is you should understand that you couldn’t have made it better.

The second most important thing, in my opinion, is to get help. No matter how many times you may have been to a therapist or a counselor more therapy usually can’t hurt any. Be honest with them, and tell them what you need out of them. The next thing is remember no one will ever fully understand. While I think you should expect your significant other to recognize your issues and respect the fact you may have different needs, you can’t expect them to understand.

You may be less trusting, over needy, extremely independent, or you may act like nothing ever happen. Just realize it takes a lot of love and compassion to be willing and able to be in a relationship with someone with deep issues. As time goes by I think we all learn a little more. We bring ourselves to higher levels, or we bring ourselves down further than we were.

Don’t spend life wishing you were normal. Spend life being happy that you aren’t! Love yourself before you expect other to love you. In group therapy the one thing we all seemed to agree on was that we were more insecure than we wanted to be. Learn to find things about yourself that are great.

Get the help you need to become sexual again if you aren’t. Sometimes having a happy sex life can make for a happier you. Learning that the one we are with now is NOT the person that hurt us is a great thing.

Finally be happy. Do the things that make you feel great! Live happy. Learn to deal with it and excuse the expression, but learn to suck it up. Always know that there is someone out there that has had it a lot worse than you. If need be seek out those people. Learn from them and move on in your own way!


Update Four Years Later

It's hard to believe it has been four years since I originally wrote this. In that time some things have changed and others have stayed the same. When I wrote this I only had two children, both boys. I now have a three year old daughter and I must say that my past has dramatically changed my view on raising a little girl. I must remind myself on a regular basis that I can not control everything. I have to tell myself that I can not shelter my daughter because of the things I went through! Yes anyone can do something wrong. Yes the world is full of bad people who thrive off of hurting innocent children. NO I do not need to let that control my life.

In the last four years my view on moving forward has not changed. I still know that no one will fully understand how I feel. I know that it wasn't my fault, yet still have to remind myself of it. I still refuse to be normal because I am happy with my weird self! It's hard. The nightmares never go away. The memories never fade as much as I wish they would, but I get by pretty damn well if you ask me!

Good luck to all of you out there that have to move past the feelings that come with surviving incest.

© 2010 Peeples


Peeples (author) from South Carolina on November 29, 2015:

I just wanted to say thank you for all of the kind comments. I avoid this article most of the time because it isn't healthy for me to see it on a daily basis. I like to avoid the thoughts I have when reading it, so I hope none of you have taken offense to my not replying.

I certainly appreciate all the sweet and kind words! Take care everyone!

Scroll to Continue

Suzie from Carson City on November 19, 2015:

peeples....You're right. It is hard to believe it's so long ago you wrote this. I know I didn't read it until over a year after you'd published it. Yet I can tell you that this brave story of yours stands out for me of the hundreds & hundreds I've read in nearly 5 years. This is not a story one easily forgets.

In these past few years of becoming better acquainted with you on our mutual writer's site, my reaction remains the same but even stronger.

In my opinion and quite simply, YOU are one incredibly amazing young woman in every way that matters..........Hugs, Paula

Yoleen Lucas from Big Island of Hawaii on November 19, 2015:

Congratulations on overcoming such a horrific past!

I'm wondering - would it help to devote your life to eradicating this through educating children and others about this evil? I'm currently suffering from PTSD regarding a number of issues, including incest. I noticed some Holocaust survivors have become major humanitarians. Perhaps following their example would help healing, as well? As one Holocaust survivor said, "The wounds heal, but the scars remain." we can't change what happened, but we can do our best to make sure it doesn't continue.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on July 29, 2015:

Great courage to write this post. Truly a traumatic experience. Wish you all the best in future

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on June 11, 2015:

Writing about your horrid experience and some suggestions for those who have been abused has obviously helped some people here, and I'm sure it will help many more. You are able to share a very painful experience, and I think that helps make you free. I have heard that we are only as sick as the secrets we keep.

I experienced a different type of abuse, but being able to talk about it really helped me move forward in my life. It sounds like you have moved forward, not that you will ever forget and you may be more protective with your daughter. But, is that a bad thing? I don't think so. I wish you the best of everything in the future.

Akriti Mattu from Shimla, India on June 09, 2015:

I want to congratulate you for standing up for yourself and bringing this infront of the world. Hats off.More power to you.

Voted up :-)

Silva Hayes from Spicewood, Texas on December 03, 2014:

Hi, Peeples, thank you for telling your story. I wish you the best that life has to offer. Voted Up!

Michelle Scoggins from Fresno, CA on August 02, 2014:

Hi Peeples, powerful and moving article. You definitely have a lot of courage. As a therapist I commend you to guide other survivors to get their own treatment, it can work wonders. Change can truly come through therapy. I hope that you reach for the stars and achieve your dreams. I just commented on your question about returning to school. Now I am interested in what you would like to do, working with survivors may be a calling for you? Good Luck. Voted Up.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on May 14, 2014:

Very well done. I have a number of people close to me who have been impacted by abuse. It makes my blood boil that I have to be in a world where creatures calling themselves human beings who do these sort of things to children are allowed to exist.

The abuse cycle is a very hard one to stop, and the more people like you in the world who are strong enough to try to move on and speak out, the better chance we have of stopping this despicable type of behavior in our society.

Thank you for your strength.

Kevin W from Texas on January 25, 2014:

Wow..... I'm not even sure how to comment on this hub. It shows how strong you are being able to talk about that level of betrayal. I have never understood incest/child molestation personally. I applaud your strength & will Peeples..... Awesome hub/story.

Catherine Taylor from Canada on January 25, 2014:

Such an important hub and so honest. You are an an amazing example of the power of the human spirit. I'm so sorry you had to endure something like this, but so glad you have found a meaningful way to carry on. Thoughts and prayers for you.

Romeos Quill from Lincolnshire, England on January 25, 2014:

What a brave woman you are peeples for having the courage to expose such horrendous betrayal.

I was watching a film a couple of weeks' ago called ' Ultimate Betrayal ' ( 1993 Odyssey/Hearst Entertainment Inc. running time 93 mins starring Ally Sheedy ), which you may or may not have seen, but will leave the details here for the benefit of others.

It is about four sisters, surnamed ' Rodgers ',( true story ), who were sexually abused as children by their ' father ', whom they took to court years later in order to claim back their innocence in the name of justice, against a seemingly perfect father, staunch church-goer, a famous lawyer and most ironically, a child abuse expert for the F.B.I.

They eventually found some peace after it was all over.

Take Care,


Jane Arden on January 25, 2014:

Thank you for writing this hub. It must have been a difficult decision, you have been so brave. My mother suffered as a child and she always had mixed up emotions. Guilt, disgust, regrets. She felt guilty for loving her father - disgust at what he did. I have just written a book about her - from my viewpoint as her daughter. Unfortunately my mother took her emotions to the grave with her. She was always very easy to cry. You are a very strong person and this article will show others that there is life after child abuse. Hard I know, but its our only life. We want to be happy.

ktnptl from Atlanta, GA on January 25, 2014:

It's always good to leave things behind and move forward. Nice post and very helpful.

kaiyan717 from West Virginia on August 25, 2013:

Thanks for writing, I have started articles on my experiences and I never have the guts to push publish. Maybe I will one day, thanks!

Randi Benlulu from Mesa, AZ on August 23, 2013:

First...I am so sorry for what happened to you. Thank you for sharing it in such a great, comprehensive hub. Ny son is a survivor of , also. His story is a little different from yours as it was a cousin and happened when staying with his grandparents. I saw the changes in him but had no idea until he finally told me. From that day forward, our life has changed. After years of therapy, Ben is a college graduate, embarking on a new life. We do not forget. We never forget but thankfully, we were able to move forward. Thank you so much. Up++ and sharing!

tuteramanda from beijing china on May 22, 2013:

I heard that in western country most incest happened between father and daughters,however ,in asian society most happened between mother and sons

Linda Bryen from United Kingdom on April 21, 2013:

Hello! peeples, you are such a brave lady for sharing your story and I admire you for it. Let us hope that if there is someone out there who is being abused like you were, will find the courage to report the abuser even if it is a family member and get help as soon as possible. Thank you for sharing.

Peeples (author) from South Carolina on March 28, 2013:

Jonny you bring up a great point. I admit I am guilty of the very thing. My experiences make me weary of my own relatives/inlaws because of my past. I question in my mind strangers I see with their children. I know my thought process is not always rational and simply a response to my past. I'm sure you are a great an and I hope that you get to enjoy your time. While I think everyone should always be aware we have to be rational too.

jonnycomelately on March 28, 2013:

peeples, once again I am very lately in seeing this Hub of yours. Like the others, your Hub brings some tears to my eyes.

The thing that makes me really angry is that feeling which is so wide in our world: that any man who shows tenderness towards a child is up to no good.

When I was able to play the grandfather role recently, towards a young man and his young son, whom I have the greatest love and admiration for, and when they treated ME as a grandfather, it was one of the most beautiful, touching, warm and wonderful feelings of my life!

The anger comes from that worry in me of, "what will people think when they see me hugging that boy?" I know that this boy is so, so safe with me; I would sacrifice my life for him.

Don't worry. I am strong enough that no one will deny that boy the love he needs from me. Neither will they keep his father (who is a beautiful, responsible, intelligent, and the most caring father you could imagine) from doing likewise. The world needs this as much as the boy does.

Big hug to you peeples.

MissJamieD from Minnes-O-ta on March 11, 2013:

Thank you so much for sharing your story! And I couldn't have said this better myself. My sister (3 years younger than I) and me were molested by a step-father for over 3 years, as often as he could get to us. Weekly, sometimes daily. I kind of "forgot" about the abuse until I was 15 and started drinking and becoming sexually active. Ever since then, now at age 37, these acts that happened 30 years ago, still haunt me. Like you, I still imagine my step-father getting into bed with me and trying to touch me. For most of my life I had to sleep with my hands underneath my legs while on my stomach because if my hands were outside of my body anywhere, he'd grab them and make me touch him. In fact I still sleep like that at times. There are many little acts in life that "normal" people do, that totally bring me back to those days and creep me out. I didn't have a decent sex life until just this last year. I finally taught myself to love myself, I left my abusive husband (after 15 years) and now I'm with the most amazing man in the world. I love him, I'm not 100% ashamed to have sex with him (except for some things, I'm still shy about certain things) but we have an extremely active sex life and it's by choice. I love him, and that also makes all the difference. But, I really have a hard time letting others love me, that's part of the reason my marriage ended although like I said, he was damaged as well so we weren't meant to be together forever. But, I've learned alot in my (almost) 37 years and I'm doing better, but it never fully goes away. I'm so sorry about what happened to you and I'm so sorry to anyone who has this happen to them. I'll pray for you.

LongTimeMother from Australia on March 07, 2013:

Your mother is a fool, and I hope your father is in prison. Good on you for leaving them behind you. You should never have been treated so badly, by either of them.

Voting up.

ahorseback on January 25, 2013:

You are welcome , and you are amazing to have beaten this act by moving up to a place of power over the act ,where some young girl or boy somewhere might just read about you ! When they need direction the most might just have saved someone you know ! ....You my dear- win!........:-}

Motown2Chitown on January 25, 2013:

There are no words that will adequately express my feelings about this hub. I get so, so, so angry when I hear of parents who violate their children this way, and my heart breaks for those children who become adults never having known what a parent's love is like.

You are amazing. You are strong. You are beautiful. I am so glad I encountered you here.

Peeples (author) from South Carolina on December 29, 2012:

Very kind of you Ed! My only reasoning for putting so much out there is in hope maybe just one person is helped.

ahorseback on December 29, 2012:

Peeples I think you are pretty amazing to share the pain and suffering you have experienced , As a decent and concerned man , I find myself ashamed to be a man at times ! The cyclical patterns of abuse are disgusting ! And the only thing that will help is the utter and complete honesty of a woman like you .......I'm sending out hubber hugs to you , The safe kind ! You soo deserve them!.......Ed

Peeples (author) from South Carolina on December 08, 2012:

Shaina Survive has multiple definitions. This hub is not about how to physically survive the act. The only way to do that is to get help. This hub is about the definition "To carry on despite hardships or trauma; persevere" "To cope with (a trauma or setback); persevere after"

Shaina on December 07, 2012:

But how do I survive...?

Jim Higgins from Eugene, Oregon on November 30, 2012:

This is an outstanding Hub. You have my sympathy and best wishes for great life. You show a lot of talent as a writer and I am sure we all encourage you to continue. This was a valuable hub for any victims or parents of potential victims.

freedomspirit on October 30, 2012:

Hi peeples,

I'm new to HP. Just today in fact. I don't understand why people carry on the cycle.

I really want to learn more.

Unknown on October 16, 2012:

The us Gov beat me when i was 11 years old and tried to brain wash me and kill me and they said to me you till anyone we will kill you

Sueswan on October 07, 2012:

Hi peeples

I admire your strength, courage and unselfishness in sharing your story.

Take care :)

Duffee on October 06, 2012:

A very brave and courageous post. Thank you for sharing your story.

IzzyM from UK on October 05, 2012:

I read this hub and would like to comment, but cannot find the words. ((Big hugs))

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 05, 2012:

I am glad you are able to share your story and no child should have to grow up that way. I think your hub will help other people that had the same experience. I know you are right about no one understanding if they have not had the experience. I am glad you are working at having a happy life. Your advice is excellent. I wish you a happy future and all the best.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on October 05, 2012:

Hi peeples. How courageous of you to share your story. I admire your strength to write about this. And yet, it is so very sad that innocent children are subjected to this. It is totally unacceptable for this to happen to anyone.

Thank you for sharing your story and raising awareness. Good for you for not letting this define and control your life. I am so very happy that you have found happiness in life. I will do what I can to help raise awareness.

KDuBarry03 on October 05, 2012:

Wow, very powerful and very moving. Definitely courageous of you to write a powerful hub like this. Sharing it across all boards.

Peeples (author) from South Carolina on October 05, 2012:

You are always so kind billy! Thank you so much for sharing, there can never be enough awareness!

Steph, good for you for being involved in such an important cause. Incest and other forms of sexual abuse to children seems like it would be well known and supported. Sadly the topic makes so many people uncomfortable that it ends up ignored. There will never be enough people to help the cause as much as it needs. Thanks for taking the time to read!

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on October 05, 2012:

Incredibly useful, sad, powerful, etc. My husband and I are involved in a non-profit organization in Central Oregon called Kids Center. We raise money to help pay for counseling, therapy, etc. for sexually abused children (and even adults who were abused as kids).

Every year at the annual lunch - a huge event - I am just blown away by the stories shared, the horror people like you have endured, and the strength they have tapped into. I am always shocked and saddened by this reality, yet its important to keep sharing to raise awareness. Rated up and so glad that Bill shared this on FB so I could find this hub. Best, Steph

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 05, 2012:

This is such a powerful hub my dear! I thought I had read this before, but evidently my mind is getting old. :) You are brave to write about this, and I am so happy that you are able to write about it. I am sharing this important message on as many Facebook groups as I can find.

Chrissie Lewandowski from Cheshire, UK on September 22, 2012:

What a very brave and very moving post - I cannot begin to ever understand what you experienced and as a mother I suspect you yourself will never be able to rationalise it. Your strength in being able to rebuild your life is formidable.

Suzie from Carson City on September 13, 2012:

There is nothing in this world, nothing anything anyone can ever say, explain or attempt to rationalize, to make me accept that a "mother," can choose a man, husband or not, over her own child, who was abused, used and molested by that piece of garbage, referred to as the man.

This is incredible, unacceptable, in ALL cases, unforgivable and surely, reason to oust these pathetic dirt bags from your life.....forever.

I admire your strength, your will and self-respect and preservation. You have every reason to be proud of yourself and grateful for your abilities to survive and thrive.......UP+++ Wish you Peace and happiness always.

Chris from Illinois on September 09, 2012:

people's, you survived because you are stronger than your abuser. You knew he was wrong and even though it caused you great pain, you found a way out. Put the fault on him and let yourself be free. If you don't you are letting him still control you. A therapist can help you not forget, but grow to be a better parent and partner from this horrible thing.

Peeples (author) from South Carolina on July 11, 2012:

I told myself when I wrote this Hub that I would never comment on it. Just because this was one of my hardest to put out there but now a comment has left me feeling I need to comment. Nikky, you may never see my comment but if you do please take it to heart. You did the right thing. Something my mother was unwilling to do for me. The easy way out is pretending it never happened, please don't ever do that. As a mother myself now my only real advice for you is to pretend you were never sick and put all of your energy into making your daughter feel loved. I know that you had cancer but from a child's view you simply weren't there. Please do everything you can to make sure that little girl knows she is your only priority. Good Luck on the long roads ahead. Thanks for all the comments and my apologies for never commenting back. I hope you understand.

Nikky on July 10, 2012:

My daughter is 13th years old, on June 15th I saved her from keep on been sexualy abused by her step-father (my husband). I walk on the room while he was touching her, this was going on for almost a month . He took advantage of her while I was in intensive care fighting for my life ( I had breast cancer). Now is over I hope me and my daughter will find the courage to move on

Ausseye on June 19, 2012:

Hi Peeples: What a survivor. A profound and moving hub, written by a brave and beautiful human being. A lesson we can all learn from and inspire us to act and be of some useful help. You are great survivor and a strong and worthy human, you kids are blessed. How can we (who have had good, solid and loving) parents offer anything that can assist is a topic I would more than love to read more off. Inspiring and heart warming hub. Ausseye.

mjfarns from Bloomington, Illinois USA on August 19, 2011:

In a word: courageous. Thank you for sharing.

Kevin Harper from Boise, Idaho on March 21, 2011:

You're a brave young woman for sharing your story. I pray you'll find some great examples in your life to model what a real marriage and father-daughter relationship can and should look like. So many teens growing up in foster care (and worse, in dysfunctional homes where incest and other abuse was never found out) have never seen what a traditional two-parent family looks like. That just makes it that much harder for them to create one of their own.

God bless!

Benny Faye Ashton Douglass from Gold Canyon, Arizona on May 27, 2010:

Hi peeples, thank you for having enough courage to tell your story,I listen to a lot of hurting people that have suffererd the same atrocious act that their ow3n fathers did to them and I think it's so sad that men of daughters, feel the need to attack their daughters, but I also know that there's a lot of sick people running around out there. I' m glad you found closure and maybe you story will help some one else through their incestious situation. Thank you dear heart for sharing and God continue to bless you in your healing. Godspeed. creativeone59

Dave Sibole from Leesburg, Oh on May 27, 2010:

Took a lot of intestinal fortitude to share that story but thanks for doing it. My heart goes out to those hurting as you have been hurt. Life is full of choices. Looks like you are make some good ones now. God loves you, don't blame Him for what happened to you. I will remember you in my prayers.

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